Skin So Soft
Baby's skin needs special care in the cold. Ask your pediatrician if your child needs lotion or bath oils to help keep skin hydrated.
According to an article written by David Steinman in Natural Health in November/December 1994, when purchasing skin products for your baby, look for nonperfumed lotions and oils specially suited to her sensitive skin. Seek out natural soothing and emollient ingredients such as almond, olive, coconut, or palm oil; calendula, or marigold.
Most pediatricians recommend avoiding antibacterial soaps, baths, and shampoos; also avoid any baby products containing artificial colors, allergenic or irritating preservatives (such as quaternium 15, imidazolidinyl urea, or parabens), diethanolamine (DEA) or triethanolamine (TEA), and sodium lauryl sulfate or cocamide-DEA.
To keep skin healthy all winter long, follow these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Bathe using a comfortable water temperature; be careful it isn't too hot. The best bath temperature for a baby is just under normal body temperature, about 95 degrees.
- Most pediatricians agree that soap or shampoo for a newborn is not necessary. As your baby grows, however, you may need a little help getting her clean at the end of the day. If shampoo or soap is required, use only those with the mildest ingredients.
- Don't use bubble baths—they are the leading cause of vaginitis and urinary tract infections in infants. This problem became so prevalent that in 1987 the Food and Drug Administration required that children's bubble bath carry warning labels.
- Apply moisturizers to skin immediately after a bath or shower; damp skin maximizes hydration.
- Consider purchasing a humidifier to keep the humidity in your home high during the winter.